So, Joel Embiid took whatever opportunity he could to taunt an opponent, even if it wasn’t his own play.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr let his players take turns running the huddle during a win over the Suns last night.
That didn’t sit well with Phoenix forward Jared Dudley.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
This is spot on.
I doubt Kerr would have done that against a better team. He did it because the Warriors were so likely to blow out Phoenix. That is disrespectful.
But it’s also correct, and Dudley isn’t complaining. The Suns got the amount of respect they deserved. Like he said, it’s on them – not Golden State – to change that.
The Suns lost to the Spurs by 48 (!) last Wednesday.
I’m going to be the first to say it. They’ve go to send the whole Phoenix team to the G League for that. I’m sorry. Except Devin Booker and T.J. Warren. The rest of them have got to go to the G League.
Phoenix’s next opponent? Denver on Saturday.
The Suns lost again – their fifth straight defeat, though by just 10 this time – but Troy Daniels started an altercation with Barton.
Barton, via Gina Mizell of The Denver Post:
It was nothing personal to Phoenix. I would have said that about us if that happened to us. I was just being funny on a podcast.
“I didn’t know during the game that’s what it was about. I didn’t find out until I came (into the locker room) … I was like ‘They listened to that?’ Alright. OK. Whatever. I’m coming to the game and I didn’t remember I even said that. I’m not thinking about that. So when we came back in (the locker room), they told me that’s what it’s about, and then it’s like, ‘It all makes sense.’ It’s like, ‘Oh, that’s why he came out like that,’ which I respect. You’re supposed to take that personal and I respect that. I would have took it personal, too.”
Daniels put up a much better fight against Barton than the Suns did against San Antonio.
When LaVar Ball said Luke Walton lost the Lakers, some players strongly defended their coach. Not LaVar’s son, Lonzo Ball. The promising rookie didn’t commit to either side. That, and the Lakers’ on-the-record silence on the issue, sparked speculation and rumors.
But the Lakers found a little groove, and the hysteria quieted. The words of LaVar – who’s in Lithuania, where his other sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, are playing – faded.
So, LaVar has cooked up another way to get his name into headlines.
It’s hard to follow LaVar’s exact timeline here. (It’s hard to follow a lot of what he says.) But let’s try to unpack it.
Lonzo is under contract through the 2020-21 season. The Lakers have team options on the final two years, but they’re not declining those unless Lonzo stumbles badly (in which case this is all moot). The Lakers can also make Lonzo a restricted free agent in 2021, which means the soonest Lonzo can unilaterally leave Los Angeles is 2022, and that would require taking his qualifying in 2021.
In other words, Lonzo isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Lakers shouldn’t feel pressed to get LiAngelo, a low-end prospect.
But could there be actual ramifications for not drafting him or signing him? LaVar acts as if he’s Lonzo’s de facto manager/agent. Lonzo has never shut the door on that perception.
He’ll get asked about this, though. It’ll be another opportunity to distance himself from his father or his franchise – or walk a delicate middle line yet again. It’s a tough spot for a 20-year-old.
That, more than the threat of him walking in free agency, is why the Lakers are worried about him.
The contention didn’t end there.
“If a guy has a clear lane to the basket, if you can’t [get] there then let him go. You can’t try to take him out. Obviously, not everybody abides by those rules.”
I have to side with Portis here. Satoransky didn’t have a clear lane to the basket. Portis got there in time to get a lot of ball. It’s unfortunate how hard Satoransky fell, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Portis was dirty or even reckless.
This back-and-forth probably only increases the odds of a more deliberate dustup when the Bulls and Wizards play April 1.